What can you do with your worn out American Flag? In the United States there are ways to dispose of a flag, and do it in a way that honors the men and women who died protecting the country and Constitution the flag represents. In Kingsburg there is a receptacle at the Kingsburg Cemetery for old, faded, and worn out flags. But then what happens?
On June 5 Kingsburg’s Boy Scout and Cub Scout Troops honored our country’s flag by retiring between 300 and 400 American flags. At The Kingsburg Gun Club, these patriotic youngsters followed the proper protocol outlined in The U.S. Flag Code.
1. The flag should be folded in its customary manner.
2. It is important that the fire be fairly large and of sufficient intensity to ensure complete burning of the flag.
3. Place the flag on the fire.
4. The individual(s) can come to attention, salute the flag, recite the Pledge of Allegiance and have a brief period of silent reflection.
5. After the flag is completely consumed, the fire should then be safely extinguished and the ashes buried.
6. Please make sure you are conforming to local/state fire codes or ordinances.
7. The ashes are sifted through to remove the grommets, which are cleaned and passed out to people at future events.
8. The ashes themselves are bagged up and presented to the VFW
9. The ashes are respectfully handled by the Veterans.
The Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts felt it was an honor to spend time showing respect for the country the flag represents.
What the flag means to me is proof of the bloodshed that our country went through for our freedoms. The ability to retire each flag that we can makes me feel we are able to put this flag to rest after waving for our freedoms for so long. Retiring the flag also gives me a sense of pride knowing that I’m trusted with this task as a Scout.
Senior Patrol Leader
What the American flag means to me is freedom and justice. The stripes represent the 13 original colonies and the stars represent the 50 states of our country, also known as our union. To me, the flag also means perseverance and justice, and the lives of our soldiers serving our country. The respectful way of burning the flag in the retirement ceremony affects me because the flag is no longer able to be on display. That specific flag has been on display for our country and soldiers for as long as it possibly can.
Assist Senior Patrol leader
Kingsburg can be proud of these young men and women, and we as a community thank The Boy Scouts, The Cub Scouts, and The VFW for their patriotic spirit and respect.